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National restrictions: our support during this period

As England enters a period of national restrictions, we'll do everything we can to help people stay active, and ensure all sport and physical activity is ready to return as restrictions change.

5th November 2020

As England begins a new period of national restrictions, the days and weeks ahead will be challenging for everyone involved in grassroots sport, as well as in all the activities impacted by the new restrictions.

Indoor facilities including gyms, leisure centres, pools, tennis and basketball courts, fitness and dance studios and climbing walls must close until 2 December.

People running during the first lockdown

People can go outdoors to be active as many times as they like, either on their own, with their household or support bubble, or on their own with one person from another household while keeping two metres apart.

Children who are under school age if they're with a parent/carer, or people dependent on round-the-clock care, do not count towards the limit of two people from different households meeting outside.

Public places such as parks, the countryside, beaches and public gardens can stay open, as can outdoor playgrounds.

All organised community outdoor sport is not permitted, and facilities including basketball and tennis courts, outdoor gyms and skateparks must close.

All children’s grassroots sport outside of school - both indoor and outdoor - must stop, but schools and nurseries will stay open and activity will be permitted within these settings during school hours, with playgrounds staying open.

More information on what the restrictions mean for sport and physical activity.

The restrictions explained

These restrictions are of course a blow to all those who either take part in or deliver sport and physical activity.

But this is a pause, as part of the larger response by the government to stop the rise in infections and to protect the NHS, and not a hard stop. We’ll do everything we can so that sport and activity in all its guises is ready to return as soon as the restrictions are lifted, and help people get and stay active through this period, in a number of ways:

Helping the nation stay active

We’ll be focusing on what can be done at this time, with an emphasis on supporting people to walk, run, cycle and get involved in fitness activities at home or outdoors within the restrictions.

Through our high-profile campaigns, our partnerships with brands and organisations and through our external communications channels, there'll be more from us in the days and weeks ahead about the importance of helping people to get active through this period of new restrictions.

Join the Movement

Our award-winning Join the Movement campaign is packed with resources and tips to help people of all backgrounds and abilities to stay active in fun, simple ways both indoors and outdoors.  

Next week, there'll be a nationwide digital advertising campaign that will highlight these resources. This will target people who have struggled to get active since the spring lockdown and encourage them to fit more movement and activity into their day.

Join the Movement

Autumn and Winter Activity Toolkit

As part of our work helping partners to support their communities to be active at this time, last month we launched an Autumn and Winter Toolkit packed with ideas and resources. 

It has a range of assets to help your organisation engage with your audience. The toolkit also connects you to the best and most recent insight about the way people are feeling about sport and physical activity in the current climate, as well as how you can join up with our This Girl Can, We Are Undefeatable and Join the Movement campaigns.

You can download all the resources now using the link below, and a new iteration of the toolkit will be on the same page of our website next week.

Autumn and Winter Activity Toolkit

Club Matters

Our Club Matters website has a suite of toolkits, guides and case studies to support clubs to help people stay active during this period of national restrictions, as well as to help clubs plan.

Club Matters


We’ll help organisations who provide sport and physical activity to get through this period financially.

Return to Play Fund

Today, we’ve reopened Return to Play: Small Grants fund, which we paused for a few days this week to refocus on helping groups, clubs and people who deliver sport and physical activity through the additional challenges that this period of national restrictions will bring.  

We’ve made important changes to the criteria to ensure we’re giving the right help at this time.

Our two other coronavirus-related funds, Return to Play: Community Asset Fund and Return to Play: Active Together, are also open for applications.

This is part of a wider package of over £220m of support we’ve provided since late March.

Return to Play Fund

Separately, we’re working closely with the government on a package of support for those sports badly affected by the fact they can't generate revenue from crowds on match and event days with more details to come soon, following the £100m of government support to leisure operators.

Working with the government

Getting ready for a return

We're working alongside the government colleagues so that when restrictions are lifted, we're best placed to return. We'll promote and push for as much sport and physical activity to be permitted as is possible.

Return to play guidance

People across the country have come together in the past few days to highlight the importance sport and physical activity plays in all our lives, and the Prime Minister himself has highlighted the importance of staying active.

We know the power sport and physical activity has to improve lives. We'll continue to focus on keeping the nation moving, because it's never been more important, and on doing everything we can to ensure that when this period of restrictions ends, sport and physical activity is in the best position possible to return.

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